Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Celebrating Aging at Bealtaine

The maidenly May Queen. The fecundity of the land. The sacred union of masculine and feminine.  It seemed a bit counterintuitive that in Ireland, Bealtaine, the month of May, is a month celebrating creativity in people who are well over the age of 50. Beataine is the time of year when crones rock!

All over Ireland there are arts activities aimed at those who are of pensionable age. For instance, the Hawkswell Theatre in Sligo is offering weekly acting classes in May for €30! That is completely affordable for someone on a state pension. All over Ireland there are arts activities that celebrate our creativity as we age.

I love living in a country where they recognise that we still have juice post-menopause and post-retirement. And this year's theme focuses on the collective and activism with0 with headline events like "Rebel Yell" and "Archiving Activism". The national programme includes choir singing, choreography, 'cultural companioning,'and artists' breakfasting. Poet Paula Meehan's (age 61)words are being put to music. Crones get to roam and take photographs.

I love Ireland. She has her faults (we'll not talk about the water, the institutional misogyny, the clerical abuse) , but then she just gets some things so perfectly right...

It is the perfect environment for a Juicy Crone (as Jean Shinoda Bolen calls us 21st century cohort of crones) to flourish.  And if your own crone lacks some juice check out her "Goddesses in Older Women" and "Crones Don't Whine."

We may not be in the business of pro-creating, but we certainly have ways to keep on pollinating ideas, community initiatives, and spiritual endeavours.

And how am I celebrating Bealtaine (say it, Be-AL-tah-nah, with the stress on the second syllable)? I collected marsh marigolds and cuckoo flowers while walking the dogs on the shore of Lough Allen. While gardening my beloved and I noticed bees feeding on comfrey and dandelion. And the cuckoo bird sang. It was earlier this year, but it is always sweet to hear it on Bealtaine.



Next weekend I will spend at the Wise Woman Ireland Weekend, an annual gathering celebrating women's spirituality and creativity in community. This year we will gather at Newgrange. My contribution is setting and emceeing the Goddess Quiz and facilitating a creative writing workshop.

While the hawthorn may not be quite in bloom just yet, plenty of creativity is blossoming in Bealtaine in Ireland. May your creativity have lots of juice!

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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


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